Man Splits $22 Million Lottery Jackpot With Friend To Honor 1992 Agreement

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Wisconsin Lottery

The odds of winning the lottery are astronomical…but to actually beat those odds, win the lottery and split it with your friend because of a promise you made years prior…crazy awesome!

If you are interested in the odds themselves, that number was apparently already calculated in the case of Wisconsin’s latest Powerball lottery.

As People reported, the chances of winning are 1 in 292,201,338. So one could hardly blame you if you didn’t expect to win after getting a ticket.

But of course, somebody has to and this time, it happened to go to somebody who knows how to keep his promises.

Back in 1992, Tom Cook and Joseph Feeney of Wisconsin promised each other that if either of them won the lottery, they’d split the jackpot with each other.

As People reported, they shook on it and Cook confirmed that “a handshake’s a handshake” almost 30 years later.

Every week, the two men would buy their tickets, but neither really thought they would actually win.

But when Cook was watching the lottery draw on June 10 over breakfast, he soon learned that the two-dollar ticket he bought at a Synergy Coop in Menomonie, Wisconsin was the big winner.

As he said, “It was quite an experience when I read the first two or three numbers. I kind of froze and handed them to [my wife]. And she froze.”

Indeed, his ticket turned out to be worth $22 million.

And when Cook called Feeney to tell him the good news and honor their old bargain, he couldn’t believe it either.

As Feeney said, “He called me, and I said, ‘are you jerking my bobber?’”

That’s a fishing reference, if you’re wondering.

Lotteries tend to give winners the option of taking the full value of the ticket in installments over a long period of time or taking a reduced value as one lump sum.

The men chose the cash option, which brought their total down to $16.7 million.

As the Associated Press reported, this left each of them with about $5.7 million after taxes.

Although Feeney was already retired by this point, Cook now felt comfortable doing so.

As he said, “I can’t think of a better way to retire. I got grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and I’m looking forward to spending time with them, not worrying about if I got time to go, and where we can go, and [if we can] afford it.”

Cook and Feeney now look forward to traveling together alongside their wives, as they previously did with a PT Cruiser.

As People reported, however, they’re looking to do that with a larger vehicle this time.

Cook also said he’s bought two more lottery tickets since his win, saying, “What can I lose?”

h/t: PeopleAssociated Press